Oh! A deer, a southside deer - stray animal seen in Dublin may be household pet

Deer causes delays to Dart as experts mystified

A stray deer has caused delays on the Dart line in South Dublin. The young Sika stag was spotted by commuters on Thursday at Glenageary station and again on Friday morning. Video: Irish Deer Commission


Conservationists are mystified as to the presence of a young deer which has been seen wandering the Dart line in south Dublin.

The young Sika stag was spotted on Thursday at Glenageary station and again on Friday morning by commuters.

Irish Deer Commission spokesman Damien Hannigan said it is “highly unusual” for a deer to be found so far away from its nearest habitat which would be the Wicklow Mountains 10 kilometres away.

“We have seen deer turn up in Tallaght and other places on the fringes of the Dublin Mountains, but not this far from their habitat”.

He surmised that the deer must be a pet because a wild deer would run away from humans and a farmed deer would have a tag in its ear.

“This animal does not appear to be showing any signs of distress. The perception is that this is an animal which was held somewhere in captivity and then escaped. It is not a regular occurrence but we have seen people keep deer in captivity1,” he said.

There were brief delays to Dart services through Dalkey and Glenageary on Thursday due to deer appearing on the platform.

Iarnród Éireann staff responded to try to move the deer to safety.

A spokesman for Irish Rail said they did not manage to capture the deer after it was spotted on a rail track at around 1pm on Friday and a Garda spokesman said it had not received any reports regarding the deer.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) has advised anyone who spots stray deer in public places not to feed them and to report the sighting to gardaí.

Head of media with the DSPCA Gillian Bird said the DSCPA had so far received no calls about the deer sighting.

“It is not unusual for us to get calls about stray deer. We sometimes get reports of stray deer wandering around housing estates particular near areas such as south Dublin where they come down off the hills,” Ms Bird said.

“If you come across a stray deer, please don’t feed them or try to touch them. People often give them bread which is very bad for them.

Ms Bird said it was possible the deer was being kept as a pet, but said an owner would need a licence from the Department of Agriculture.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said it opposes the taking or keeping of wild animals as pets.

“The ISPCA have not received any complaints made to our national animal cruelty helpline about the deer,” the spokeswoman said.